When Servicon IT Director, Paul Walters, was 18, he was a carpenter who loved motorcycles. However, when he broke his back in a bad racing accident that paralyzed him and put him in a wheelchair, he knew he had to change careers. Seven years later, Paul joined Servicon as a payroll clerk. But by then, he was confident technology was his true calling.
“Servicon hired me in 1987 as one of 10 payroll clerks,” he says. “I had some experience writing code for a payroll system in my previous job, so I knew payroll. I figured it was a way to get my foot in the door.”
It wasn’t long before the opportunity came to make his move. “When it came time to upgrade and switch over to a midrange computer system, I learned everything I could about it,” Paul explains. “I studied and studied. When someone was needed to oversee the new system, I was promoted to the position. I’ve stayed with Servicon in IT ever since. May of 2022 will mark my 35th anniversary with the company.”
What has kept Paul with Servicon so long? “I enjoy the people I work with—the friendships, the camaraderie,” he says. “It’s a good crew. To Laurie [Sewell Servicon CEO] and Michael [Mahdesian, Servicon chairman], I’m more than an employee. I am a friend. It’s also a fun job. The company allows me to solve problems.”
And solve them he does. “I’ve never failed the company or lost data,” he says. Yet he admits he considers some close calls to be among his top achievements. “Before we moved to an AS/400, we were on an older system that crashed and died,” he says. “I was there with the guy from IBM all night. Nothing was retrievable. Luckily, I had done a backup the night before, so we didn’t lose our data. There have been a few times when doing things properly, checking all the boxes, helped to avoid a potential disaster.”
Another similar instance comes instantly to Paul’s mind: “This time we were on an AS/400 system. I knew it didn’t have long to live, so we were moving to a cloud-based system. I got all the data off and saved it. That weekend, the computer went down and never started up again. I knew replacing it was urgent but did not know it was that urgent! Luck has always been with me in my work life.”
However, not everything in his work life has been based solely on luck. “When I started working at Servicon, Gary O’Brien was the CFO at the time,” Paul says. “He was a bit of a mentor, showing me how to live properly financially. I learned a lot of lessons that helped make me successful. I owe a lot to him.”
O’Brien isn’t the only one in Servicon’s management who made an impact on Paul. “Laurie Sewell cares about the world; she wants to do good,” he says. “She always says, ‘We are not only janitors; we are making the world a safer place.’ Laurie, Michael, and Servicon are great pillars who are always trying to do their best for our community.”
The feelings are mutual. Created as a unique way to recognize Paul for his hard work and dedication, Servicon’s new “Wall of Art” dedicated to Paul will be unveiled in early 2022. The gallery, masterminded by Sewell, will feature some of Paul’s professional photography along with work by other Servicon employee artists.
“It’s a huge honor, an amazing one,” Paul says, “I’ve done well and accomplished a lot at Servicon,” he says. “The job has been very beneficial to me. It’s a good place to work. I have no regrets, and I think the company is a better place for my 35 years.”